Forty military moms-to-be and new moms whose spouses are deployed members of the U.S. Navy, Naval Submarine School and Connecticut Army National Guard were showered with gifts and appreciation during a group baby shower on Tuesday, June 19. Hosted by non-profit organizations Operation Shower and Birdies for the Brave in collaboration with Saint Francis Care, the “Come Sail Away”-themed event took place in the Birdies for the Brave Patriots’ Outpost at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, CT, during the PGA TOUR’s prestigious Travelers Championship.
“For military wives who are expecting a baby and whose spouses are deployed or soon to be deployed, the impending arrival of a child can be both exciting and stressful,” said Operation Shower Founder and Chief Shower Officer LeAnn Morrissey. “Operation Shower was created specifically because typically military moms are the ones who hold it all together at home. Without their spouses by their side, deployed to another part of the world, these moms deserve our support, our thanks, our love and an opportunity to celebrate together.”
During the shower, the moms enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by Applebee’s and received an array of high-quality gifts and products for mothers and babies delivered in Operation Shower’s signature “Shower in a Box.” Donated by individuals and companies including supporting sponsors Petunia Pickle Bottom and Alex and Ani, the gifts included everything from onesies and baby bottles to clothing, crib bedding, diaper bags and toys. To the moms’ surprise, each of the moms also received a $100 Visa gift card compliments of Saint Francis Care, as well as a beautiful Maclaren stroller thanks to Travelers Insurance.
While all of the moms appreciated the thought and generosity that went into each of these tangible gifts, for many, the most valuable thing they received was the opportunity to share stories and gain comfort from other military moms-to-be in the same situation.
“The shower was awesome and overwhelming! I can’t say thank you enough to cover all of the generosity, kindness, volunteer efforts, or the carload of amazing gifts I received,” said one of the attending moms. “We miss my husband like crazy, but we are so proud to be a Navy family. We truly appreciate your recognition and everything that was done for us yesterday.”
Amy Sabbatini, wife of six-time PGA TOUR champion Rory Sabbatini – a founding supporter of Birdies for the Brave and military homefront group United Through Reading, served as the event’s Honorary Host and also provided gifts for all of the moms. Other special guests included Andy Bessette, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Travelers Insurance; Dr. John Rodis, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center; and Mrs. Melanie Breckenridge, wife of Rear Admiral Rick Breckenridge, Commander of Submarine Group Two in Groton, CT.
“It was such a privilege to join with Operation Shower, Birdies for the Brave and presenting sponsor St. Francis Care to show our appreciation to these courageous military moms-to-be, who make innumerable sacrifices that enable their loved ones to so selflessly serve our country and defend our freedom,” said Sabbatini. “It was very touching to see how much they appreciated the opportunity to be recognized for all they do behind the scenes.
Photo by Sassy Mouth Photography